Thousands flee from Jakarta floods

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Thousands flee from Jakarta floods

By Indonesia correspondent George Roberts

Posted 34 minutes ago

Video: Thousands flee from Jakarta floods (ABC News)

Map: Indonesia
Widespread flooding across the Indonesian capital of Jakarta has forced more than 10,000 people to flee their homes, with two people killed so far in the seasonal chaos.

Disaster management authorities are preparing for the possible evacuation of up to 350,000 people, with 30 per cent of the city already inundated by floodwaters.

“My home is destroyed – all of it. It’s in chaotic piles of mess,” resident Umar Dani said through a translator.

He said the flood reached the roof of his house.

The National Disaster Management Centre’s Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a child was among the two victims swept away in the floods overnight.

“Days of heavy downpours caused the rivers to overflow and triggered floods up to three metres,” he said through a translator, adding that rivers in Jakarta had a low capacity to contain the monsoonal rain.

In 2007, major floods forced 350,000 people to leave their homes and authorities are preparing for the same impact this year.

However, they say it is hard to predict how bad things will get.

Mr Nugroho says the 2007 floods caused nearly $500 million of damage in Jakarta alone.

“It’s serious because this is the capital of Indonesia and flooding can affect the economy locally and nationally,” he said.

Indonesia is regularly afflicted by deadly floods and landslides during its wet season, which lasts around half the year, and many in the capital live beside rivers that periodically overflow.

At least 11 people were killed and seven missing in November after flash floods triggered by heavy rain hit a village on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island.

ABC/AFP

Topics:floods, disasters-and-accidents, indonesia

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